As the INFANT State-wide Implementation Coordinator, a role I job share with Anthea Gregoriou, we work to scale up INFANT across Victoria, that is offering INFANT to all 79 LGAs. We support those interested in implementing INFANT working closely on how best to set up and embed INFANT locally sharing the lessons from other LGAs and knowledge gained from the rigorous research undertaken throughout INFANT’s history. With my background, having a Masters in Exercise Physiology and a Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics, I love promoting INFANT as its messages advocate both healthy eating and active play. Encouraging both behaviours in babies and parents is my ideal job!
We are learning so much from LGAs about how best to implement INFANT and how to ensure its longevity. Increasingly we are working to coordinate action across the early years sector while simultaneously understanding existing systems and how best to work within them to make INFANT easy to implement. In addition, we aim to entrench INFANT in policies and strategies and fortunately, we have state government support with INFANT featuring in Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures, the Victorian Government’s 5-year action plan to ensure kids across the state grow up happy and healthy.
The INFANT team is comprised of diverse, impassioned and talented individuals and it’s a pleasure to work alongside them as we continue to build the evidence for INFANT while gathering data about how best to implement INFANT amongst varied populations. We enjoy sharing this understanding and research with the broader sector and in return are enriched by their experiences. INFANT was initiated in 2008 and rarely do you see initiatives reach such longevity.
It is a pleasure to be working within the early years sector as we know that the first 1,000 days (conception to 24 months) are acknowledged as a crucial period for growth and development in early childhood, laying the foundation for life-long health behaviours and the prevention of chronic disease. My hope is that both public and private enterprises continue to appreciate how precious this time is in our lives and that we give it the attention it deserves to prepare our children to lead us into a healthy and happy future.